In 2010, I co-founded fEast theatre with Rob John. fEast theatre is a theatre company specifically formed to develop and showcase new work by professional writers, actors and directors from Norfolk.
I directed their first two productions, 'One Eighty' by Rob John (April 20110) and 'Battery' by Beatrice Armstrong (June 2012).
fEast theatre's first production One-Eighty a new play by Rob John launched the company with a tour of Norfolk and Suffolk venues in April 2011 culminating in a three night run at Norwich Playhouse. The show (‘a sad comedy about darts’) starred Owen Evans of Nimmo Twins fame.
'Evans.. peels back his seemingly simple character’s complex layers with a powerful and poignant performance, as he wrestles with his fall from being in the world top 10, to a sad existence as a confidence-sapped semi-recluse, before the hope of resurrection arrives.
The other cast members of the new fEast theatre company, aiming to showcase local professional talent, also shine when they step up to the oche: Hayley Thompson as the long-suffering doting fan who takes Norman in during his troubled times, Robin McLoughlin as the flashy agent trying to resurrect the star’s career and image, and Sarah Langrish-Smith as his flirty partner whose signals confuse and derail Norman’s recovering self-confidence.'
Richard Batson EDP
Norman: Owen Evans Mel: Hayley Thompson Stella: Sarah Langrish-Smith Dennis: Robin McLoughlin
fEast theatre commissioned Beatrice Armstrong to write a new full length play for them. 'Battery' developed and was read and discussed by actors and the company during the process until Draft 4 was finalised.
This stunning new play is a poetic and funny play about life, death, sibling rivalry and cake.
'…the phrasing is neatly wrought - Armstrong has a particular talent for the visceral and violent‘
‘Brown and Woodgett are engaging and enthralling throughout.. physically and emotionally consumed throughout the 90 minute show'.
‘McLoughlin is handed a less kaleidoscopic character but is all the better for it, turning in a sharp and focused performance.'
‘Su Dean’s lighting design complements Mandy McKenna’s direction on a minimally dressed stage, with props flexibly used to deepen the storytelling.'
“It’s been brilliant working with fEast Theatre”.
“They’ve given me lots of support, advice and encouragement as I worked on my script. They even organised two readings with professional actors so I could hear the play and get a sense of how it needed to develop.
“It’s very exciting now to be able to attend rehearsals and watch the show take shape.”
Beatrice Armstrong (2012)
Charlie: Robin McLoughlin Lucy: Alice Brown Anna: Tabitha Woodgett